Skip to main content

tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  September 1, 2014 3:30am-4:01am EDT

3:30 am
not have a toilet. it's about respecting me as a girl. according to the world health organisation, 600 million indians, half the population, defecate outdoors. a shortage of toilets is not just a problem. across the country, in mumbai, the capital. millions do not have access to safe, clean and private toilet facilities. even when shared toilets are available, some would rather not use them. in woman has no toilet, pays $0.03 every time she uses these facilities. they are filthy and closed for most of the night. >> translation: if we had a woman's toilets we could use it with courage. strange men hang around, and we are scared to come on our own. >> many in the slum avoid relieving themselves late at
3:31 am
night. this, local doctors say, creates a raft of health problems. >> it's difficult for them. they get constipation. dinistry. >> the modi government made toilet troubles a top priority. it may be some time yet before hundreds of millions are spared the daily humiliation. hello, i'm john gibson, and you are at "the listening post",
3:32 am
this week journalists at the hands of the islamic state. nuclear power and the media after fukushima. what ukraine needs. another partisan news channel. what would the bombing of gaza look like if it happened in a neighbourhood like yours? conflict is at the other of a lot of news coverage and has given the media plenty to report on - the fighting in ukraine, the bombing of gaza and iraq and syria. and the murder of an american journalist james foley, beheaded in retribution, we were told, by the u.s. bombing of is forces in iraq. the video shocked anyone that has seen it, raising questions in news rooms, editorials, on how to report the facts without becoming propaganda tools. there was outrage request a selective field to it. is killed hundreds along the way and documented mass executions
3:33 am
with video posted online. there has been an frt to stop the spread of the james foley video. the authorities in the u.k. said watching the video amounts to a crime, let alone distributing it, despite the fact that other videos are similar that are there to be seen. look at this story, it's hard not to see the double standard. our starting point this week is syria. put yourself in the editor's chair. the video is online. it's as disturbing a work of propaganda that you see. what do you do? how do you ut cut the story? >> there is a journalistic value to acknowledging the existence of the video and explaining to the audience what i.s.i.s. and other terrorist organizations hope to do with the video. what you do as a journalist when you bring the context to an
3:34 am
inflammatory piece of information like this, you tend to deflate the power of it. >> i don't believe there's anything wrong with showing that the person supposed to be carrying out the execution is speaking british english, does have a message, and james foley is dressed as a guantanamo bay prisoner. happened. i don't believe there's an issue. i don't know that a major news outlet, respectable news out the showed or wants to show the act. >> the beheading is awful. it would not have become an international story without the visual evidence of what happened. sometimes it's the role of the news to make us uncomfortable or show an unsan tied version of what happened in -- unsan tied version of what happened in the world, that's what the media need to bring to the table when
3:35 am
covering violent and terrible events. >> as gruesome and unjust as the murder of james foley was, there has been gardenage and syria and -- carnage in syria and iraq. as said by human rights watch, saudi arabia is beheading citizens at the rate of one a day, and the cover im of that is scant. the u.s. media is focussed on james foley's story. i.s.i.s., and i.s.i.l., any stories are good news, welcome, but who cares about the saudis the saudis have been cutting off heads for as long as anyone can remember. one of the people whose head was cut off was charged with witchcraft. to me, this is horrifying in our
3:36 am
modern age, but it happened, and yet i scanned the u.s. media and canadian media for science of nothing. >> the foley story fits clearly into a narrative we see in the u.s. media, that wants to identify is victim headed by members of i.s.i.s. and they want the story that they are covering to have a clear moral compass about what is right and wrong, who is good, who is evil. the story in saudi arabia, from the u.s. perspective is complicated and ambiguous. we are not sure how to slot in the people beheaded. >> all media exists not in a vacuum, but in relationship to an audience, and journalism is going to be sympathetic, and more aligned with audience that it serves, than with a distant remote
3:37 am
remote audience. when a westerner is executed. western nations pay attention. when journalists struggle, they recognise that there are unjust deaths around the world every day. if you overlode the audience with information that is not compelling or interesting, the audience will turn away and you have, in essence, become ipp effective -- ipp effective. >> the foley video was designed for response, and it did. binyamin netanyahu likened the i.s.i.s. and hamas. hamas is i.s.i.s., and i.s.i.s. is hamas. they are the enemy of peace, israel and civilized countries. he was condemned on twitter for exploiting the death of a purposes.
3:38 am
>> the american president and british prime minister made brief appearances, talking tough before returning to their vacations. police in london issued a statement warning: >> to control the image seems to be misplaced moralism. the video of the foley story would not have gotten national attention if the visual evidence of what happened was not a part of it. i think it's important for people to understand that the video itself is part of the story, and so to try to prevent that being spread is a way of censoring what is, itself. >> there's something about an offici official ban that makes people
3:39 am
want to look away. it's difficult to judge what the is gained - intention, intimidation factors outweighed by support it lost. the early returns, judging from what can be seen online is revealing, especially among the audience the islamic state cares most about. >> the overwhelming majority of arabic social media users were disgusted by the act. it made people under that i.s.i.s. seems to be more focussed on barbaric, grotesque use of violence than delivering something to the people it purports to be defending or fighting for. it was an interesting rehabilitation for arabic social media users, who seemed and grew more educated about what i.s.i.s. is doing. >> if you are one of these extremist groups, you live in the media. and your first objective is to get yourself known everywhere,
3:40 am
and featured. one of the reasons the iraqi army, three decisions of it ran away in the north, was everyone was scared of the i.s.i.s. people coming to cut their heads off. in that sense it works. in north america, there's a cry going on now about "we've got to stop i.s.i.s. before they get to philadelphia, and chicago." it's creating a war-like atmosphere. snow and here is one indication that the i.s.i.s. may have miscalculated. pop being savaged for the murder in many tweets and online message, it changes the story and calls the victim an american spy. there's no evidence of that. james foley was a journalist and a good one. he was killed and became a bi part of a story he simply wanted to cover.
3:41 am
he and every other victim of the fighting in iraq will be missed. our global village voices on the coverage of the islamic state and the murder of james foley:
3:42 am
al jazeera america presents, edge of eighteen >> my heart is racing so fast >> standing at a crossroads... >> my parents have their plan. i'm gonna do what god asks me to do before what they ask me to do... >> can a family come together? >> do you think that you can try and accept me for me? >> life changing moments... >> my future is in my hands right now... >> from oscar winning director alex gibney, a ground breaking look at the real issues facing american teens on, the edge of eighteen only on aljazeera america
3:43 am
time for listening post news bite. a new weapon in the information war between ukraine and russia.
3:44 am
a 24 hour english language news channel broadcast august 21st. the channel is available online and via satellite in ukraine, europe and russia, and will focus on eastern europe from a ukranian perspective to rival the kremlin-backed russian channel rt. ukraine today is the brain child of one plus one media group, controlled by an oligarch. he's been involved in the shoet down in eastern -- showdown in eastern ukraine, offering $10 million for every russian fighter captured. he blocked russian broadcasters to protect the media space from aggression from russia. journalists in nigeria are caught in the crossfire, in a power struggle between the government and boko haram. on august the 21st soldiers stormed the officers of "the daily trust", in the neerp city of maiduguri.
3:45 am
they had printed a story that nigerian soldiers refused to fight boko haram until they were provided adequate weapons. the staff were threatened and told to stop reporting on the military. two of the editors were held. two months ago, according to the nigerian press organization, the arm your seized press runs, raiding officers, disrupting the deliveries of several dailies. the maldives market themselves as an indian ocean paradise with lush beaches and 5-star accommodation. it's also a dangerous place to be a journalist. this month a reporter wept missing. he worked for an independent online paper "mini van news", it was reported that he was kidnapped by an arm gangment he wrote a piece to threats on
3:46 am
journalist over their coverage of gang warfare in the capital. the government has been criticised for their response, but the home affairs minister says they are doing everything they cap to find him. the media called the abduction a threat to all the maldives. a report by the maldives broadcasting commission found eight out of 10 journalists were threatened. rogers tv, an opposition, was attacked and buildings torched. for certain countries there are topics that the news media find difficult to cover. in japan it's the nuclear issue, not just the fukushima disaster. japan is the only country to have the atomic bomb dropped on it and its people bear the scars. after fukushima in 2011 the
3:47 am
meedias was accused of towing the government line on the story, butting the japanese at risk. nuclear power has been a critical component in its electricity generation. the plant has been shut for three years, but shinzo abe's government wants to restart them. the debate would take place in the airwaves and newspapers much there are concerns over the media's appetite for the story, and what many see as a conflict of interest, how much influence the industry has over the media, through the big money spent on advertising. are the media too concerned with balance sheets to provide checks and balances they are meant to approved. "the listening post" on the challenges of covering the nuclear story in japan. 9/11. >> clearly something devastating happening this morning. >> reporter: others had 7-7 and
3:48 am
in march 2011 an earthquake in japan set off a tsunami, triggering a meltdown of three nuclear power plants in fukushima. [ speaking foreign language] >> reporter: that disaster became known as jap's 3/11. >> initial reports by the japanese media were underplayed. you would think with the disaster that happened in 3/11 that people would have been more outraged or angry from the start. it was slim. >> the media are responsible for unnecessarily exposing people to radiation. it's not only the responsibility of the government, it's also the responsibility of japanese media, who didn't report events or tell people the facts. >> the media couldn't judge whether this information was correct or not.
3:49 am
that's why they want to stay on the safe side, and that is why they didn't give the information to the government. they didn't want to give the public wrong information because of the dangerous situation. >> reporter: a situation that japan's media was accused of making worse. viewers were told the amount of radiation leaked was not hazardous. the reports were wrong. media analysts say not much has changed since the disaster. if anything, some argue, the situation has deteriorated. and many blame a new law. the so-called designated secrecy bill, written by the shinzo abe government and passed in parliament. the law makes it illegal for journalists to publishing and retain state secrets.
3:50 am
if found guilty they could face five years in gaol. >> the law is set up that if you know something that is a state secret, that the japanese government, anyone branch can designate something a state secret. anything about nuclear power would be a state secret. >> it's more than a state secrecy act, it functions as an anti-whistleblower law. there's no supervisory board or externalal public board reviewing what is a state secret or the publication under the independently. >> this is a story with political, economic and environmental elements in in the aftermath of fukushima, japan shut down its nuclear plant and 90% of electricity generated fossil fuels. prime minister shinzo abe announced plans four months ago
3:51 am
re nuclear power generation. the nuclear story in japan is compromised because institutions have grown too close. the government is tied to the nuclear industry, tepco spends money on advertising and media outlets don't want those avenues to go away. >> advertising budgets is one of the most important ways that industries exert pressure on the media in japan. electricity companies are involved in this. industry advertising budget is about $70 billion each year. tepco spends $20 billion on advertising alone. media outlets are concerned about this funding. >> translation: japan's nuclear energy industry is controlled by the i.a.e.a. the experts and journalists under the control of i.a.e.a. writes articles and reports.
3:52 am
they aim to restart the nuclear power plants which are not operating. this is the mission that the specialists have been given by the government. to achieve this, it's better that the true facts about the exist. >> there's a lot of money to be lost. most people at the top of japanese media know if you offend tokyo power company, you risk losing advertising dollars, but if tepco complains to friend in toyota or others, you could lose more advertising dollars. it's about money, not public interest. >> the newspapers, unlike television, are more relint on prescriptions. usually japan has a vibrant land site. journalist are given access to government and business officials. there are five terrestrial tv
3:53 am
channels, nhk is the biggest, funded by citizens that pay a licence fee. it ha to fend off criticism. nhk radio commentator in january resigned after 20 years, amid accusations that a broadcaster told him not to discuss nuclear power until after an upcoming election. that came after nhk's previous chairman abruptly left, reports suggests he was moved out because of critical coverage. controversial. >> he is very close to prime minister abbe and well known for having right wing nationalist opinions. when he assumed the position, he very early on made a couple of inflammatory statements, and he is also very well known for having said when he assumed his
3:54 am
pog that if the government -- position that if the government said right. nhk could not go left. kam kamal nhk was considered the voice of authority for objective nationalist knews. by knee capping nhk a press department has been set. >> because nhk is a powerful position, it has been identity that it is a factor of japanese nation. in a way, they feel that they have to be something that serves japanese people. it's more like a national identity broadcasting. >> "the listening post" requested an interview from nhk. they declined by gave us this
3:55 am
statement: lion . despite such assuranceses a close eye is kept on media outlets. they could use a reboot. they provide that story. more global village voices on journal. >> in japan, and the post fukushima nuclear story.
3:56 am
>> it is under control, they are careful not to cross the lines. commercial interests are strongly influencing the reporting on nuclear issues. an independent journalist manages to fill the gap of information with their stories. they are discriminated against by the government and the japanese itself. the result, in many cases, journalists saying what the government or companies want them to tell the public. al jazeera america presents, borderland labor day marathon >> we're all following stories of people who have died in the desert >> catch up with this ground breaking series...
3:57 am
only on al jazeera america
3:58 am
[ ♪ music ] finally, last month google was forced to remove a mobile phone app from its app store because the game offended a lot of people. it was called "bomb gaza", and had been downloaded. there have been other games, "gaza assault", "iron dome." all have resulted in backlatch and provoked response. a spoof video was designed, looking like a game. it imposes the map of gaza over the city of toronto and showed what a bombing campaign that hits campaign, schools and
3:59 am
hospitals would look like in north america. it's a video that hits home. see you next time at "the listening post." >> audiences are intelligent and they know that their needs are not being met by american tv news today. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet... >> you can't tell the stories of the people if you don't get
4:00 am
their voices out there, and al jazeera america is doing just that. the pakistani army removes protesters occupying a building - but the protesters say they are staying on the streets. we'll have the latest from islamabad in a moment. you're watching al jazeera, live from doha. also on the programme - palestinian activists accuse israel of the biggest land grab in 30 years over plans to build a new settlement in the occupied west bank. police in hong kong use pepper spray to disperse activists, demanding